Photo by MICHAEL DOHERTY / Observer-Dispatch
Shahid Farooqui, his wife, Razia, and their children Hana, 4, left and Rida, 7, celebrate Muharram, the start of the Islamic Year by praying Monday in their Utica home. Razia and her daughters each wear a scarf and Shahid wears a kufi on his head. Each prays on their own musala, or prayer rug.
Shahid Farooqui, a Sunni Muslim, fasted Monday to mark the ninth day of the month of Muharram.
"The fast is not obligatory. It is recommended," Farooqui said. "We get extra rewards."
Sunnis believe Prophet Mohamed was close to Moses. Since Moses fasted on the same day to express his gratitude to God for his escape from Pharaoh by crossing the Red Sea, Prophet Mohamed recommended Muslims fast on this day, too, he said.
Though Shias and Sunnis may fast for different reasons, most of their beliefs are the same, he said.
"We have more in common than our differences," he said.
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